Memorable Branding

Branding is a deliberate action taken to influence people’s perception of your product or service. Successful branding has left a lasting imprint on the hearts, minds, and pocketbooks of customers for decades. How is your branding? What does it say about you and your business? It it memorable?

The first commercial jingle was for Wheaties with a quartet singing over radio station WCCO in Minneapolis on Christmas Day in 1926.

Have you tried Wheaties?
They’re whole wheat with all of the bran. 
Won’t you try Wheaties? 
For wheat is the best food of man. 

They’re crispy and crunchy 
the whole year thru,
The kiddies never tire of them 
and neither will you.

So just buy Wheaties, 
the best breakfast food in the land.

With the advent of television, the first TV ad played on July 1, 1941, for Bulova watches during the baseball game between the Brooklyn Dodgers and Philadelphia Phillies. It cost Bulova a whopping $9.00!

Who hasn’t looked out over a mountain valley and felt the urge to cry out across the canyon “Ri-co-la!” while convinced that “Nobody does it like Sara Lee.”

Small business owners rarely have the ad budget to make jingle history, but we all need to be memorable in our area of service when a “need” or “desire” pops into a local’s head. If we know our audience, have a plan in place, give ourselves enough time, ask for help, and put in place a process to evaluate results and adapt in real time…any business can become memorable.

If your logo, brand, or marketing materials needs a refresh, we have over 20 years of experience, talent, and imagination in digital and print media. Drop us a note at ac@activecanvas.com and remember, we’re digital marketing experts but branding is our passion.

Blog Using Long-tail Keywords

Every business wants their website to be on the first page of Google. Everyone! That’s why it’s so tough to get there. But there is a way to improve your chances. Blogging improves your chance to get indexed on an Internet search — if you follow one very important, but easy, rule…

The Rule of Long-tail Keywords

These are phrases that a visitor might use when they search for a product or service, especially when using voice search.

Let’s say you sell new and used golf carts. Someone in your zip code sank their golf cart lakeside while dodging an alligator near the 7th hole. They need a replacement cart, but can’t afford a new one. There’s a good chance they will log onto Google Search and type the term “used golf carts near me.” This term is specific: cart must be pre-owned, the buyer does not want to order online, and the term “near me” will trigger the ZIP code of the buyer, automatically narrowing it down to be “near you.” 

Use long-tail keywords early in your site’s content to describe in detail what you offer or the problem you solve. Then use them again in blogs where you tell a problem/solution story in your own words. Blogs give site owners the opportunity to add more specific keywords to their website every month or every quarter — without even touching the main content!

Blogging also gives you an acceptable, inexpensive marketing opportunity to connect with your base through periodic emails. If you focus your message on the connection you have with your customers, you can improve the conversation while you improve your search engine rankings.

Be sure to avoid filling a blog with awkwardly-phrased keywords that might hurt the user experience. Long-tail keywords integrated into your opt-in/-out blogs will help to improve the search engine’s understanding of your content. And remember, blogging is not selling; it’s a conversation.

Learn more about adding a blog to your website »

Learn more about the value of long-tail keywords here »

Top 5 Changes in Web Design

Few web design firms can tout close to 30 years of experience; but we’re close! With 28 years and counting, we’ve seen a thing or two…or 3 or 4, or more. In 1990s, websites were generally text-heavy and image-lite. Hours were spent writing and coding lines and lines of text that would be viewed only on a desktop computer. 

Today, it’s about “mobile first” design and “relevant” copy with keywords that rank high with search engines, e.g., Google. Websites today must be intuitive for users to quickly find what they came to learn or purchase. It’s always been about the user experience, and especially now when sites are reached on small mobile devices.

We believe there are five powerful areas that cannot be ignored—categories where mistakes are often made.

  1. NAVIGATION
    Confusing navigation. When site hierarchy is out of sync, today’s users have little patience to poke around your site. Navigation must be intuitive, never difficult for prospects to learn, engage, and convert to prospects and customers.
  2. VISUAL DESIGN
    Not designing for mobile first. Images, videos, or buttons that take longer than two seconds to load, a typeface out of sync with your brand, poor use of white space, and misusing the psychology of color needed to strengthen your brand.
  3. CONTENT
    Weak calls to action that don’t guide the user to know where to go or what to do next, overlooking the use of grids, guidelines, and columns, and not providing monthly content updates to improve Search Engine Optimization (SEO).
  4. TEMPLATES & RESELLERS
    Be aware of the limitations and hidden terms often associated with DIY website builders and domain sellers before you sign up with them. If it sounds too good to be true, it is. Sometimes it’s the right choice, but do your homework or call us for a fair and balanced assessment.
  5. STOCK PHOTOS
    The human brain processes images 60x faster than words, so we use images to get attention before delivering powerful messaging. We’ve been known to meet clients in the middle of nowhere to take digital shots of their company trucks or chase the sun and shadows at parks, beaches, and outdoor spaces to create interesting About Us portraits. There’s nothing worse than using a stock photo that a competitor also uses!

Your website is a reflection of your business and your brand. Your visitors should make an immediate connection between your purpose, personality, logo, print material, social media, and marketing collateral. The French writer, poet, journalist and aviator Antoine de Saint-Exupery wisely said: “It seems that perfection is reached not when there is nothing left to add, but when there is nothing left to take away.”